What is Job Tracking?
For a new organization, delivering and completing ongoing jobs take the first priority. Optimizing the processes involved in the delivery of those jobs is typically something left for the future. After all, interim solutions such as spreadsheets and emails seemingly suffice in getting those jobs done.
However, as the organization grows and becomes increasingly complex, there will inevitably be a rise in challenges that prevent it from delivering jobs at its full potential. Manually entering data or getting data moving across multiple disparate, disjointed systems result in a severe waste of time, a lot of errors, a lack of clear visibility into operations and critical metrics, and a general sense of frustration. This is where job tracking comes in.
Job tracking takes a systematic approach to monitor the progress and execution of all activities within a given job. Using the insights generated from tracking jobs, it becomes possible to optimize and streamline the processes involved to maximize the efficiency and profitability of the organization.
What are the Benefits of Job Tracking?
The benefits of job tracking apply to all organizations that complete jobs. Implementing job tracking can deliver several benefits from the get-go. It becomes particularly useful when you are managing large and complex jobs that involve multiple deliverables and milestones. Job tracking can keep all stakeholders, managers, and employees informed about the current status of the job and its deadlines. Moreover, it ensures that all deliverables are completed on time, and the job wraps up as per the schedule.
One of the immediate benefits of implementing job tracking is the increased visibility around jobs and the associated processes. You get to discover critical granular level data, such as the exact time used by resources to complete a specific activity or the actual cost of a deliverable. This data can also be leveraged to better inform decisions for any future jobs that you undertake through better bids and estimates.
Through the data gained by tracking jobs, it becomes possible to identify actuals vs. estimates, allowing you to optimize your budgets for all projects. Tracking gives you precise real-time information on all actual costs associated with the job. This gives you the opportunity to make course corrections to keep those costs within the specified budget.
Job tracking provides you with the opportunity to uncover inefficiencies in your current workflows and processes in real-time. It also helps in identifying any potential roadblocks and issues early on before they become major issues. This saves you the time, money, and resources that would have been spent on making course corrections later.
Improve Resource Allocation
There is no real way to find out if your resources are properly allocated to the job at hand if you do not have the right data. Job tracking gives you access to accurate and timely performance data that allows you to understand if you have the right resources assigned to specific tasks. As a result, you can shuffle resources around to improve productivity and control costs.
Who Needs Job Tracking Software?
A job, here, can be defined as a piece of work that is typically paid for by a client and comes with specified deliverables, and has clearly defined start and end dates. As such, any industry or business that deals with jobs can leverage job tracking. A few examples are as follows.
- Architecture and Construction firms
- Bookkeeping and Accounting firms
- Creative and Design agencies
- Engineering firms
- IT services firms
- Manufacturing firms
- Shipping firms
- B2C services like wedding planners and landscaping
The above list is by no means exhaustive. There are several other types of firms and industries that can potentially benefit from the inclusion of job tracking to optimize their business.
Best Practices with Job Tracking Software
Successful job tracking initiatives depend on the development and adoption of best practices. While best practices differ from organization to organization, the ones given below are applicable across various industries for bringing a radical improvement in job management.
Keep Stakeholders Informed
A common reason for job failure is a lack of understanding among the stakeholders of the job, its objectives, and its deliverables. If there are differences in how the stakeholders understand and estimate the project and its scope, you are quite likely to run into issues sooner or later. Therefore, ensure that all managers, team members, and other stakeholders are kept informed about the job. Clarify any details they need to know, such as the deliverables, the budgets, the time limits, and the risks associated with the job.
Increasing transparency is all about making the job data more open and accessible to team members, managers, and stakeholders. To ensure that you will need to do more than simply tell resources what their milestones are. Share details around the time and budget available and/or consumed for every resource. This allows resources to better evaluate their efforts and orient themselves to meet those limits. Do not forget to let the team know of any changes in the job’s scope, timelines, or budgets in real-time. This prevents confusion and potential rework or blown budgets down the line.
Consolidate All Job Data
It is a well-known fact that experience cannot be replaced. Job tracking is a continuous process and it can provide a massive repository of knowledge to be leveraged for future jobs. Leveraging this considerable wealth of experience with past jobs can be invaluable in dealing with any issues that crop up in future jobs. However, to do so effectively, you need to have all job-related data consolidated in a single location. The historical data should be accessible to all managers and other stakeholders who need it for better delivering future jobs.
Adopt Cloud-based Job Tracking Software
With the rising complexities of modern job tracking, manual methods like pencil and paper or spreadsheets are no longer an effective way to monitor job status and progress. Moreover, manual methods are highly inefficient and prone to errors. Investing in a modern job tracking system that leverages cloud technology can do more than simply monitor jobs. It can also provide you with a competitive advantage by automating several key functions and processes.
Why Invest in a Cloud-based Job Tracking Software?
The primary reason to invest in job tracking software is to support your managers and team members across the different phases of the job. However, modern systems come with advanced capabilities such as cloud technology and automation that significantly improve job tracking and management in any organization. Here are some of the reasons why you may find a job tracking system to be worth the investment.
Planning out any job can seem daunting, but it does not have to be so. With modern job tracking software, you gain access to accurate data around costs, schedules, and time. More importantly, all of the data is available to you from a single central location that gives you an organization-wide view of all the relevant metrics you need for job planning. Since all of this data is in real-time, you can even make changes to the plan on the fly as the job progresses.
Success for any business depends on their ability to deliver the expected results within the budget they have been given, making budget management critical in job tracking. Through job tracking software, it becomes possible to monitor and control the use of the budget from the job initiation to its ultimate completion. From tracking actuals vs. estimates to monitoring costing in real-time, such systems can be immensely useful in giving you a comprehensive view of the job’s finances at any point of time.
Reporting and Insights
A dedicated job tracking system can play a vital role in monitoring the various phases of the job and delivering insights into its performance and other essential metrics. This is made possible by gathering all data in real-time and analyzing that data to generate reports for all stakeholders to use. Through the robust reporting mechanism that brings all data in one place, it becomes easier for all managers and stakeholders to review and make the right decisions.
Accurate Time Tracking
You can now take out the guesswork from timesheets through the job tracking software. These systems are capable of tracking all punch-in and punch-out times, meal breaks, and work periods against specific jobs and activities, eliminating the need for filling up timesheets manually and, thereby, increasing the accuracy of the time data. The system can then use this data to drive payroll and costing with higher accuracy, leading to better control over finances.
How Replicon Supports Job Tracking
With Replicon, you get a job tracking platform that empowers you and your employees to track their time, costs, and jobs with incredible ease. Effortlessly keep track of all moving parts and effectively manage time, costs, resources, profitability for every job. Experience seamless job tracking and management capabilities with insightful reporting to make the right decisions every time in real-time. As one of the leading cloud-based time tracking solutions, Replicon delivers several advanced functionalities as follows.
Powerful Time & Attendance Management
Replicon gives you the flexibility to model any timesheet format to exactly meet your organization’s unique needs in tracking time against jobs. All in-out times can be tracked against assigned jobs and activities along with meal breaks and work durations so as to give you a comprehensive picture of time usage across your organization. You can also easily support all time capture needs for not only your office-based employees but also your field and remote employees on any device of your choosing.
With Replicon, you also gain a powerful self-service feature in the form of a time clock that can be deployed on any iOS tablet. This time clock comes with advanced capabilities such as image capture and facial recognition to provide a photo-audit trail for documentation purposes.
Advanced Mobile Capabilities
Empower your workforce with the freedom to manage their time and time off even when they are mobile with Replicon’s mobile app. This mobile app is available for both Android and iOS and offers access to all the features that are available on the web version of Replicon. The mobile app also gives you the ability to leverage advanced geofencing and geo-monitoring capabilities. This allows you to track and manage the locations from which your workforce is allowed to clock-in or clock-out from their jobs. Through the app, supervisors gain instant visibility on resource availability and location, allowing for proactive decisions around resource scheduling.
Intelligent Automated Validations and Approvals
Easily leverage predefined rules to establish automatic validation of all time entries to enhance the accuracy of the time data. Dynamic approval workflows can be modeled as per business needs, allowing you to stay on top of hours and costs. All relevant stakeholders can be included in the approval workflow, resulting in increased accuracy for better decision-making. Replicon also provides instant notifications on both web and mobile to streamline the costing and payroll processes, eliminating delays and bottlenecks.
Collective Bargaining & Enterprise Agreements
Utilize the inbuilt pay rule engine in the platform to model any labor requirements specific to your business such as union agreements or collective bargaining agreements. The platform can automatically apply these rules to generate complex gross pay data to simplify compliance and payroll processing. You also have the ability to reconfigure those pay rules to meet the changing requirements necessitated by a change in the bargaining agreements. Replicon also provides sandbox instances on demand for organizations to develop pay runs and check how rules changes will impact them.
Robust Job Cost Management
Replicon gives you the ability to manage all job costs in real-time with live tracking of budgets to actuals for monitoring job performance. Easily set up your jobs and even sub-jobs as needed for tracking all relevant details. You also have the flexibility to develop schedules customized to your needs of job costing and work requirements. With Replicon, you gain a centralized live view of all jobs and associated costs at a glance with the ability to access, at a granular level, data about hours, costs, jobs, and productivity.
Streamlining Payroll with Pay Workbench
Gain access to a gross pay workbench to effectively manage all payable time and pay data based on all your pay rules, employees profiles, business policies, and shift details. Enjoy automatic updates to all pay data and payable time in real-time if there is any change to the source data. You can easily manage any exceptions, adjustments, or validations within the payroll workbench itself. Streamline your payroll process by creating templates and automating all payroll exports to the payroll solution of your choice.
Comprehensive Reports and Dashboards
Through the comprehensive dashboards in the job tracking platform, you can gain real-time visibility into all key metrics such as hours, overtime, labor costs, budgets vs. actuals, and more, allowing you to easily manage your organization’s performance from a single location. All metrics and data can be accessed at a granular level for better management. Easily configure reports to suit your specific needs and automate the entire process to generate up-to-date reports as per your defined schedule. Leverage historical job and time data through the reports and the dashboards to better plan future jobs.
Out-of-the-box Labor Compliance
Leverage Replicon’s preconfigured global pay rule library for managing all meal breaks, overtime, and other statutory labor laws as applicable to your organization. Ensure that you are always paying correctly by fully automating all gross pay calculations through Replicon’s system. Replicon also provides a comprehensive compliance dashboard and resource library to help your organization remain updated on best practices and the latest compliance changes.
Seamlessly Integrated with Your Ecosystem
Your organization may already have other applications for handling other business functions such as payroll and ERP. Replicon makes it easy for you to transfer data from its system to other solutions through turnkey and cloud-based integrations. These integrations are easy to deploy, implement and upgrade as necessary with not only the latest but also legacy systems. As a result, you can ensure quick transfer of critical time and pay data within your ecosystem for speeding up downstream processes.
Replicon does not just support job tracking. It also helps in improving job costing, increasing your control over key processes, and maximizing your overall profitability. Through Replicon, you gain a powerful job and time tracking software that helps you proactively solve many challenges across the organization, increasing your job completion and success rate.